I've been working on my latest project - bounty hunter Zam Wesell. So far so good cutting out the leather "squares" for the skirt and punching out holes for lacing with a leather puncher and a mallet. I'm doing 2" tall and a growing progression that ZamIAm came up with. The pattern so far is 15 columns by 12 rows. Rather than dyeing the squares with leather dye I'm using watered down acrylic paints to dye them in the browning violet colors. So far I'm 4 hours in and I'm 1/3 done with cutting and punching. Updates soon!
Thanks so much for the positive wishes it's still so far so good. I wanted to share a little more about the process of prepping the veg tanned leather for dyeing as I hadn't seen as much step by step posts. So the process I have going for cutting and punching is first cutting out the squares with a rotary cutter on my measuring cutting board. 2 rows 1.25"; 1 row 1.375"; 2 rows 1.5"; 1 row 1.625"; 2 rows 1.75; 1 row 1.875"; and 3 2" rows to finish off. To lengthen the skirt I recommend adding another row to sizes where there is only one row. (I do not recommend adding more columns unless your hips are larger than 40")
After they are cut out I used this handy "screw hole punch." It's meant to be hammered into the leather (however a rubber mallet will be easier on the ears!) I keep the holes generally .25" from both edges however the distance from the short edge will be more important when time comes for lacing up. Also I HIGHLY recommend these small point wire pliers to help to pinch out the punched leather from the screw hole punch. There is a picture of that and if you don't use this tool again in your cosplay efforts, I'll buy it off you
That's all folks more pics to come from my dyeing party this weekend!
Okay the dye party was held off longer than anticipated but the pieces are all painted now and I'm serveral columns into the lacing. The first thing I did was lay them all out on on the lawn to spray paint the base coats of brown and purple. Make *extra* sure you are keeping all these pieces separated throughout all the process (nothing will be worse than getting through the lacing and finding out you're missing a 2 incher and have and extra 1.25"! )
Once I got those coats on I brought them back to their home on the table to put light coats of red, lilac, tans and others found in the skirt. Don't hesitate to up the contrast if you like it they look WAY more uniform once you get to lacing.
Now it's confession time. throughout most of the research I did for the skirt pretty much every one uses veg tanned lacing. I read that *after* I had purchased some purple dyed sueded lacing off amazon and since I already had it I decided to dye it like the squares and give it a shot. if it comes apart I will let you know but to be honest they seem to be holding up through the lacing and may make the overall skirt flow-ey-er... not a word.
Now for the lacing. I don't want to say exactly what I'm doing yet because I'm not sure how I like it just yet. It's a method similar to what everyone does to get the decorative edge and the correct pattern on the back but I think it uses overall less yard-age for the lacing. I'll practice some more and get back to you.
Observations: Is it just me or did the leather get softer/more malleable when left in my plastic baggies? The paints for the skirt colors are not an exact science. use the colors that best complement your neoprene, sueded leather veil, and vest. Chances are I'll end up dyeing everything in the piece just so the look is put together and not mismatchy.